December 9th-13th was Computer Science Education week and students at Nathaniel Morton participated in the week long #HourofCode event. The premise behind the event was to introduce computer programming or “coding” to as many students as possible noting that anybody can learn to code. From the Code.org website, "Computer science develops students’ computational and critical thinking skills and shows them how to create, not simply use, new technologies. This fundamental knowledge is needed to prepare students for the 21st century, regardless of their ultimate field of study or occupation."
Because this was my coaching week and not my teaching week, I set up a schedule to meet with all the classes during their independent lab time. I met with students and teachers in the computer lab and introduced a variety of programming applications. Students explored Blockly, Botlogic, Espresso Coding, Scratch and Kodable using both the desktop computers and iPads.
Students worked independently and collaboratively to solve problems and challenges. It was interesting to observe the students work their way through the programs and also to see how they tackled the problems put before them. Students of all grade levels found the activities engaging and just plain fun.
I created a coding page on my website where students are encouraged to continue their coding adventures on their own www.mrswinsper.com/coding.html Looking forward to exploring these resources with my students throughout the year!